This, for the record, will be my first ever bad review. A real Moroccan disaster.
On the 16th November 2019, I made the journey to Agadir Al-Massira International Airport from London Stanstead with 2 friends. We travelled for my 25th Birthday and wanted a location on the beach front that wasn’t too far from the city Centre- and on that front – this hotel didn’t fail us.
By no proportion did this hotel impress me or match up to my standards though. In fact, I was left intensely and deeply disappointed. Below, I explain why I give this a 1.5 out of 5.
Located near the Marina, the hotel has 2 convenient entrances. The ground level reception is on the main road, were taxis are most likely to drop you off. However, unbeknown to many stayers, the hotel has a patrolled exit at the back that opens up to the doorsteps of the beach.
The hotel spreads across the span of a literal football pitch (across rather than up) meaning it doesn’t have the luxurious views we’d hoped for. It spreads out across 2 floor complexes at most and layered on uneven ground – meaning the views you’d get even on higher ground, are obstructed by the complexes infront of you. Imagine 2 floor buildings, across from other 2 floor buildings, on a slight hill.
We were in ground floor room 1011 to begin with, in the far far back and furthest from reception and civilisation. There are no exits near us, there is no food near us. Reception and the restaurants are a good 7 minute walk for anything. Imagine forgetting something in your room and feeling like you have to do laps around a pitch?
The rooms are huge, admittedly, and were recently refurbished with marble bathrooms and walk in showers.
These revamped rooms have tennis and basketball courts outside them, and the main adult pool is a stone throw away. We loved the actual rooms in all fairness, and I was looked after by Khadijah at Reception with a huge king size room to myself.
But on the ground floor.
We lasted about 2 days in these ground level complexes before the emptiness sank in, and we got the rooms changed. Naturally, due to my extensive gift of the gab, we were moved to 916 and 915; closer to the beach, and on the first floor of the complexes closest to the beach. Much closer to the rear exit to the beach.
This way, the only obstruction are the roofs of the ground level shops that lined the back of the hotel. Personally, I wasn’t too fond or a fan of the obstructions blocking the view. The choice in this hotel was heavily reliant on albeit price, the location to the beach and the idea of watching the sun rise and set in the peace of my bedroom.
A definite Downgrade
The new rooms were atrocious and below satisfactory for me.
The walk-in showers are gone and in its place, the bathtub has evident rust and wear-and-tear. Hair sits in the drain. The entire wall of mirror we had in the first rooms, were replaced with mirrors in the bathroom that resembled a magnifying glass. You couldn’t see ear to ear at one glance… which was disappointing.
The remote for the air conditioning might have been accidentally switched with another room by the cleaners- this is the only explanation as to why in the cold winter nights, we couldn’t get the heat or AC working at all. After multiple engineer call-outs to reception (which by the way, you walk 5 minutes all the way there and then another 5 back- MULTIPLE TIMES), they sent a guy out who tapped it a few times and said he’d come back, to never show up again.
The only good thing about these new rooms is that I got a triple room to myself and got to squash 3 single beds into one. I mean, if a downgrade had a mini upgrade, it would be that.
The room had a balcony that only proved useful when we did laundry.
My room, or any of the rooms, didn’t come with the abundance of towels like I’m used to either. Rooms had a designated 1 large towel, and 2 hand towels. The same towels would be reused over and over in your room. The cleaners would come in at any point from 5AM till 7AM in the morning (very confused emoji face here) and remove the towels to be cleaned and returned, even when unused. Sometimes, they’d come back. Sometimes, they didn’t.
Safe to say, it was very frustrating waking up knowing you couldn’t shower yet or even worse for me, knowing that someone had been in your room without my knowledge or consent. There’s something oddly odd about the idea that someone could be breathing over you or recording you or generally walking around and over you without you so much as even stirring to life. It totally freaks me out. I didn’t like that at all.
The worst part is the lack of English… try explaining to an aged lady that she forgot to give you soap, or she forgot to top up the tissue roll, or one of your towels are missing, or any number of the things I spent 20 minutes trying to explain every morning. A 5-second conversation turns into a complex procedure that almost qualifies for its own show. Its quite the commotion for something so simple, so you give up and have to do the 10-minute hike to reception.
Its one thing after another…
We’d booked the hotel with breakfast to avoid having to start our stay looking for food.
The breakfast turned out to be just as depressing as the rest of our experience.
We were provided with a platter of lettuce, tomatoes and dried fruit. Outside, a covered BBQ station would fry fresh doughnuts every morning and traditional Moroccan oily dishes. The croissants were dry, and the only complimentary beverage provided was mango juice, tea and coffee, or water… throughout the entire stay. I dont think I expect too much when I request for a fresh breakfast of eggs, beans on toast and mushrooms. I probably would’ve been happy with avocado’s and melons. Or pancakes and french toast.
I would advise to stock up your own fridge, but the fridges provided by the rooms are half the width of an adult arm and as tall as an adult knee. We probably fit 5 cans of drink in there. I was gifted with a 20cm x 20cm birthday cake by one of the local restaurants near the hotel. We took it back to my room and even cut into strips, and still we couldn’t make it fit into the fridge- by force or by fire.
Still not catching a break…
Besides the room, the hotel itself boasts a fast food joint that we frequented way too often for my liking. Most days- breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner was from here. The chicken panini was absolutely delightful- can’t lie.
The hotel also had shisha bar playing a live Moroccan band every single night. As great as it sounds, after a few hours on the first day, the booming tempo and bass of the beat become this constant ringing in your ear, and it feels like your head is repeatedly banging against a brick wall. Your ears begin to hurt, and it becomes hard to sleep with doors or windows open. Sound travels at frightening speed don’t forget, so without no objects to wind round – (we were on a hill)- sleep didn’t stand a chance against the shrill composition of the music.
So, besides the rooms being totally below standard, the very loud traditional music, the lack of satisfying breakfast, the hike between reception and our rooms, constantly having no towels… I ask myself what I enjoyed about this hotel.
The palm trees and greenery everywhere were breath taking… I couldn’t take that away from the hotel. The image above is from the dining deck next to reception, and here at night time… the most cinematic sunsets and sunrises would bide our time.
The back entrance is patrolled by a security guard at all hours of the day. It leads straight into the main road of beachfront restaurants, ice cream parlours and snooker joints. Proximity to the beach and marina is very ideal. Walking distance to our hotel was a Lebanese Cuisine restaurant that welcomed us with open arms. We ate here most nights and became good friends with Loubna – the head waitress. She got me a cake one night, took us out, rented out a penthouse next to the marina at 2AM which is a total whole story in itself…. Without a doubt, meeting her elevated our trip to another level.
I guess that’s the only thing I enjoyed about the hotel. It opened us up for exploring and adventure!
I don’t recommend staying here and give it a solid 1.5 out of 5.